Friday, December 10, 2010

Chard-Stuffed Manicotti with Creamy Cashew Sauce

After Thanksgiving, I was taking it easy in the kitchen for awhile. But last night, I felt like making something a little fancier. I came across this recipe in 1000 Vegan Recipes and realized it had been too long since I made manicotti.  It can seem daunting -- boiling the manicotti shells, making the stuffing, making the sauce, and of course stuffing the shells and baking it.  But none of this is difficult, only time-consuming.  And it always looks nice when you serve it up.

I'd always used spinach in my manicotti, and I'd never made one with a white sauce before. I found that the chard was an excellent substitute for the spinach -- I always love chard.  But, the tofu filling could've been more flavorful. Next time I'll mix in some lemon juice, nooch and garlic, like I usually do when making a tofu ricotta. The white sauce was also on the bland side. I do like the idea of using cashews to make a creamy sauce, but cashews and milk alone do not make a good sauce. (The sauce, by the way, was really thin when I poured it over the pasta shells, which made me nervous. But it thickened up nicely in the oven. I let it cool for about 10 minutes afterwards, and it was perfectly set when I cut into it.)

Tony and I improved the flavor by spooning a little marinara on top, although we still couldn't get Jackson interested in it. We ate it for dinner and again for lunch today with some roasted brussels on the side. Yep, I still can't get enough of them.

Check it out -- Averie at Love Veggies and Yoga is giving away a $50 Chocomize gift certificate to create your own customized chocolate bars, yum!

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